The Sussex Schools Partnership PGCE English course is offered as either a 1 year full-time programme or for 2 years part time.
Successful candidates are awarded Qualified
Teacher Status (QTS) and a PGCE of 90 Masters Level Credits allowing progress onto our Part-time Masters in Education for newly qualified teachers.
At the heart of the English PGCE course at Sussex is a belief in the importance of reading. Enabling pupils to become independent, critical readers who love reading and talking about texts with teachers and peers will allow them to succeed in all other areas of the English - and indeed the school - curriculum. Therefore, you will gain understanding of how to develop the reading abilities of your pupils, drawing connections between your own knowledge and love of literature and the comprehension strategies and exposure to challenging texts that will enable your pupils to become similarly enthusiastic, engaged readers. Exploratory talk about texts is also central to developing pupils’ talk and writing, combined with rich, textual models. You will deepen your own grammatical understanding and that of your pupils, enabling them to become creative, effective writers.
Integrating education theory and practice and encouraging critical reflection on approaches to learning and teaching is key to the Sussex approach. Excellent teachers from partnership schools are seconded to the tutor team and contribute additional currency to teaching and trainee support.
You will attend a full-time three week induction course on our campus during September to prepare you for starting your school placement.
Thereafter our full-time candidates spend Monday to Thursday each week training in one of our partnership schools and attending the University Campus on Fridays for lectures, workshops and seminars with our team of experienced subject tutors. Part-time candidates also attend the university on Fridays and train for two days a week in school in year 1 and three days in year 2.
Over the year you will be placed in two different schools and will be required to pass both placements. Additional assessments are via a Masters level essay submitted in late February and an innovative Viva style Masters level exit interview at the end of the course.
Our Full-time Course
You will undertake two periods of Professional Practice in two contrasting schools over the academic year September to June, training to teach in Key Stage 3 (11-14) and Key Stage 4 (14-16) with enhancement opportunities at Key Stage 5 (16-18).
Placement 1: End of September to February halfterm. Trainees benefit from a serial placement where the working week is divided between four days in school and a day of reflection and training at the University on Fridays. This ensures a weekly focus on theory and pedagogy as well as practice.
Placement 2: February Halfterm to May halfterm in a contrasting school. There are fewer University days to give you experience of working a 5 day school week.
Our Part-time Course
Year One: 2 days* a week in school and Fridays at the University
Year Two 3 days* a week in a second contrasting school and occasional University days. Towards the end of your course you will undertake a full-time 5 week teaching block.
Days of the week individually negociated to suit both school and trainee.
Our longstanding and historic partnership with around 300 schools across East and West Sussex, Brighton and Hove, Surrey, Kent, Hampshire and South London Fringes helps us secure placements where our trainees will thrive and be well exceptionally supported. We invest a lot of time in carefully arranging the most appropriate school for each individual in our cohorts.
Your Sussex tutor will personally select your two school placements based on a combination of factors; the practicalities such as living location and transport needs but also on personality, subject knowledge level and previous experiences and using our in depth knowledge of the features of schools within our partnership.
We are also proud to offer an innovative optional training strand in Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) which includes enhanced training opportunities and a bespoke Placement 2 in a local partnership special school. This strand would suit any trainee interested in working in a SEND environment.
An undergraduate degree 2:2 or above in English. With a related degree
containing a substantial English content, an English A level and ability to demonstrate a secure understanding of English literature at degree level during an interview, it may be possible to be offered a place on the basis of successfully completing our English Subject Knowledge Enhancement course.
English and Maths GCSE at grade C or above (pre-2017), Grade 5 or above (post-2017), or equivalent qualifications.
At Sussex we are looking for;
A passion for English and an interest in the subject beyond your degree
Knowledge and understanding of English and an awareness of how the subject is taught in UK secondary schools.
Effective communication skills and good organisational skills
Awareness of current educational developments and issues
Experience with young people and commitment to developing individuals
The ability to evaluate practice and to address your weaknesses
Initiative, flexibility and responsiveness to change
A sense of responsibility
The ability to work in a team.
We also require the following
Working with children: You must not be excluded from working with children, as a result of a criminal record or other reason. The Disclosure and Barring Service provides access to records held nationwide through its disclosure
service. All trainees must obtain successful DBS clearance before starting an initial teacher-training programme.
Health requirements: All trainees must be screened for mental and physical fitness to teach by the University’s Occupational Health Department before admission to the programme.
Fees and financial support
The course fees
for 2021 to 2022 are as follows:
Fees to pay
About the training provider
The University of Sussex Schools Partnership offers high quality professional and academic teaching courses leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), a PGCE of 90 Masters Level Credits and a progression route onto a Masters in Education.
With a history of innovation we pioneered a model of school-based teacher training 50 years ago, now adopted nationally. Schools are involved at every stage of the selection, training and assessment of our beginner teachers. This long standing relationship results in excellent support from experienced teachers mentoring trainees on placement and dedicated University tutors offering models of successful pedagogy. As a small friendly department we offer our trainees a personal approach and aftercare support and training as Newly Qualified Teachers
We train ‘thinking’ teachers with a over riding desire to make a difference to the lives of young people.
A research intensive university, we believe teachers benefit from critical engagement in evidence-based practice, reflection on research and continuing professional development as well as excellent practical classroom skills.
Our University sits on a leafy campus at the edge of the South Downs National Park, accessible by road or rail from East and West Sussex, Brighton and Hove, Surrey, Kent, Hampshire and South London. The historic seaside city of Brighton is minutes away, with its pebble beaches and vibrant social and cultural opportunities.
Course outcomes are consistently high; 100% achieving QTS on first attempt,
94% completing with Merit or Distinction,
98% securing a teaching post and
99% of ex-trainees rating the course ‘good’ or ‘very good’.
Applicants who meet the entry requirements will be invited to a Sussex selection day which for the foreseeable future will be virtual during the current COVID 19 pandemic.
As part of the interview process Sussex candidates would usually expect to;
Before the selection day
Listen to a video talk giving further information about the Sussex course
Complete some paperwork including our ‘Suitability for Teaching Declaration’.
Both the above will be sent to you by email in your invitation to interview
On the selection day
Have an individual online interview, usually via Zoom, with a Sussex tutor and an experienced teacher from a partnership school
Deliver a short pre-prepared classroom type teaching task or presentation to the panel. You will receive details of the task in your invitation to interview.
Show the interview panel a form of photo ID on camera for checking
Have an opportunity to ask the panel questions you may have about the course and your individual circumstances.
After the selection day
If we offer you a place on the course and you decide to accept we will need you to send us or bring in your original Undergraduate Degree, and GCSE Maths and English certificates.
Showing an awareness the curriculum and school life is part of the selection process so if logistically possible candidates may wish to prepare themselves by spending some time in an appropriate school setting for the subject/phase they intend to teach beforehand.
Training with disabilities and other needs
The University of Sussex welcomes applications from all candidates who have the potential to make excellent teachers regardless of disability and additional needs.
We have previously successfully supported trainee teachers with dyslexia, dyspraxia, aspergers, mental wealth conditions and a range of physical, hearing and visual impairments.
All trainee teachers are first screened for mental and physical fitness to teach by the University’s Occupational Health Department before admission to the programme. Following this, if you have a disability or health condition, you will register with the University Student Support service and an assessment is arranged to establish your needs. The team will identify the additional support and adjustments recommended to help you be as successful as possible on the course.